Princess Louise Home, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey
The Princess Louise Home, originally known as the Woodhouse Home, was established in 1835 and was run by the National Society for the Protection of Young Girls (NSPYG). Its object was 'to provide a home, education, and industrial training for young girls — not thieves — who are in danger of becoming abandoned.'
In 1893, the Home moved from its previous location at Wanstead to new base at Gloucester Road, Kingston Hill, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey. The new premises could accommodate up to 100 girls, aged from 10 to 15 years at their date of admission.
The Home's site is shown on the 1913 map below.
Admission to the Home was decided by its Committee, on the recommendation of a subscriber to the charity or a clergyman. A payment of 4s. a week was required, a fee of £13 per annum charged for girls placed by Boards of Guardians. A few free cases were also received.
As well as receiving a basic classroom education, the girls were trained for domestic service. Except under special circumstances, no girl was allowed to leave until she was qualified for service. A suitable situation was found for each girl leaving, and an outfit provided. Prizes were awarded annually for continued good conduct in service.
By the 1930s, the NSPYG was in financial difficulties and closed the Kingston home in 1933. Two years later, the Society merged with the Shaftesbury Homes whose Esher Place home was then renamed Esher Place (Princess Louise Home for Girls).
The Kingston premises were taken over by Barnardo's and became their Dalziel of Wooler Memorial Home. The building no longer survives.
Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.
- London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, London EC1R OHB. (The Ancestry website also has LMA records relating to workhouses and other institutions — more details.)
- Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain s Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
- None identified at present.
Except where indicated, this page () © Peter Higginbotham. Contents may not be reproduced without permission.